Statement by Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs to the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2010 – Building a New Era of Sustainability

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon. I am given three minutes so let me dispense with UN diplomatic formalities and talk business.

Last December the UN General Assembly decided to convene a Summit on sustainable development in Brazil in 2012 – 20 years after the Earth Summit.

This Summit will be held not as a commemorative event but to renew our commitment, identify gaps and address new challenges. The Summit will focus on a green economy and an institutional framework.

In your deliberations here, you have focused on the sustainability agenda, leadership, and development.

This is thoughtful, straightforward, business-like, and timely.

Indeed, I am here, in my capacity as the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, to invite you to join us on our journey to Rio.

In returning to Rio, we are reinvigorating the “spirit of Rio”, as President Lula calls it. Let me offer you my pledge of a transparent, collaborative preparatory process, and to ask you in return for your engagement, support and guidance.

The participation and leadership of the business sector is crucial, not only on specifics, like public-private partnerships, corporate social responsibility, but also on the sustainability challenge itself.

This is a watershed moment. The global community faces many dangers, old as well as new. Governments alone cannot achieve sustainability. We need the broadest possible alliance and we need leaders. Whether it is in combating climate change, preserving our rich natural heritages, achieving efficiency in resource use, spurring sustainable green growth, advancing social equity, we need you as partners and as leaders.

Two decades later, the trumpet summons us again. The threats may have changed, but the challenge of sustainability remains the same. For the sake of our children, let us tackle this challenge. Let us do this together. Thank you.